Reviewer:Christine Hennig -
April 16, 2005 Subject:
This Encyclopedia Britannica film is more strident than most, portraying the house fly as a carrier of filth and disease and a public health menace. Lots of anatomical diagrams of flies are shown, as well as lots of disgusting footage of flies buzzing around garbage, animal corpses, and dairy cattle, and thats not even touching on the really disgusting footage of maggots. The flies seem to be everywhere in this films 50s world, despite attempts to control them with fly swatters, insecticide sprays, and widespread dissemination of poison. Although the film is straightforward and dry, in that EB way, it shows a disturbing picture of the seemy underbelly of 50s anxieties. This would be a good short to show before screenings of The Fly, another great example of 50s insect horror.
Ratings: Camp/Humor Value: ***. Weirdness: ****. Historical Interest: *****. Overall Rating: ****.
March 28, 2004 Subject:
The evidence for flies carrying disease-causing organisms is spotty at best; they just show a little patch of mold growing on an agar dish that a fly has walked upon. Too much detail is presented to really be an action inspiring film (if you're going to kill them, you don't need to know that their mouthparts are called a labrum), but it's not even all that amusing to entomologists, who will be disappointed that the photography wasn't more impressive. Mostly, the film shows flies running around on fish heads, and that's about as hard hitting as the flies get.
October 30, 2003 Subject:
(does not star Vincent Price)
While this film begins by describing the house fly as "one of the most dangerous insects known to man" might get giggles from some people (but not as funny as the globe with flies buzzing around it, suggesting we have a fly problem of Godzilla proportions) this film actually convinces the viewer of the problems the fly posed on people in the 1950's. It seemed to me by watching this film that there were a LOT more of them in the 1950's (I may be wrong) in America. They were everywhere! I am also guessing that sanitation has improved a lot since then, (no more decaying cats lying around, thank goodness!). Anyways, this film is sort of frightening and stomach turning.